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Asus ROG Ally X hands-on: Improved everything

Asus ROG Ally X hands-on: Improved everything

Asus Computex 2024

It's not the Asus ROG Ally 2, but the Asus ROG Ally X has enough tweaks that it could be a proper sequel. For starters, it fixes many of the issues that consumers and YouTube modders were complaining about the original ROG Ally. However, it's still running the same AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme chip, and sports a similar display and design.

Quick specs

  • 7-inch Full-HD, 120Hz IPS touchscreen 
  • AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor with 24GB memory and 1TB SSD
  • USB-C 3.2, USB-C 4 with Thunderbolt 4, microSD card reader, 3.5mm audio jack
  • 80 watt-hour battery

The biggest improvement has to be the battery capacity. The ROG Ally X now packs an 80 watt-hour battery, double its predecessor's 40 watt-hour. The larger battery means a slightly heavier device. At 678g, it's about 70g more than the previous version, but I doubt anyone is overly bothered. You also get double the storage, 1TB now, and in a more easily upgradable format (M.2 2280 slot). While the RAM hasn't been doubled, you now have 24GB of LPDDR5X memory, with 16GB allocated to system memory, and the remaining 8GB for graphics. This puts it more in line with modern gaming systems.

Asus ROG Ally X
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

If you weren't a fan of the XG Mobile Graphics port, here's the good news. The ROG Ally X now uses a more accessible USB-C port. There are two ports, a USB-C 3.2, and a USB-C 4. Both support DisplayPort, with the USB-C 4 port featuring Thunderbolt 4 as well. I really like this change, because it makes so much more sense compared with the proprietary XG port. It will also work with devices such as the Ugreen Steam Deck Dock 6-in-1, like the original ROG Ally.

Asus ROG Ally X
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Besides the hardware upgrades, the ROG Ally X also comes with a bunch of internal tweaks. The bigger battery means Asus has had to tweak some stuff. The fans are smaller in size, but they now use thinner fan blades for 10% more air flow. The cooling has also been tweaked to allow for 24% more air flow, and this lowers the temperature of the display by up to 6 degrees Celsius. I tried out the ROG Ally X playing Tekken 8, and the gaming handheld felt really cool to hold, compared with the ROG Ally.

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Asus ROG Ally X
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Lastly, there are a bunch of tweaks centred around usability. The joysticks are now able to last 5 million cycles, up from 2 million, while the D-pad is now more precise. This should make the ROG Ally X a lot better for old-school fighting games. I did try it out in Tekken 8, and it felt comparable to using the joystick. The macro triggers at the back are also smaller, so you won't accidentally hit them while gaming.

Asus ROG Ally X
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Overall, the changes to the Asus ROG Ally X are great. The handheld gaming console feels good in the hand, and I am looking forward to putting it through the paces in a variety of games. The Asus ROG Ally X will be available from July (depending on markets). You can find more details about it here. I'll update with local pricing when it's announced.

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